Wait, What Did I Miss???

I haven’t always knitted voraciously like I have recently. I have periods of time when I don’t knit a ton, and periods when I do. For the past few years, I have knitted a little off and on but didn’t really keep up with trends or ravelry or anything. I knew that styles and patterns were evolving and changing, but didn’t really consider that maybe techniques were being developed as well. Imagine my surprise when, the other day, I discovered Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast on for single or double rib. I was looking for directions for a good cast on for ribbing and just stumbled across it. I tried it, liked it, and proceeded to use it for several projects that all started in rib. Including my current WIP Not a Buff.

So, last night I knit the last of the pattern section and the final rows of ribbing. I thought about binding off in pattern, which is how I’ve typically treated rib in the past, and just balked. The cast on edge was so stretchy and soft, and it followed the wavy zig zag contour of the rib. It did not flare out, distort the shape of the ribs, pull or look too tight. It just stretched very satisfyingly and then returned to its soft accordion folds. I couldn’t bear the thought of the cast off edge not living up to the cast on edge’s standards! So back to the web I went.

Well, I found Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, or JSSBO. I researched it along with a couple of other methods and decided it had the best chance of matching the cast on edge well. I stayed up way too late casting off all 140 stitches using it and I’m more than a little enamored. The two edges are very, very similar, to the point where it takes me a few moments to determine which is which.

These are the cast on edge:

tbcaston4 tbcaston2 tbcaston3

The color isn’t accurate as the lighting isn’t great, but you can see how nicely defined the ribs are. These images are from the cast off edge:

jssbo5 jssbo3 jssbo2

The only really good way to tell them apart is by looking for the twist at the top of each rib on the JSSBO. They both scrunch up and stretch back in the same squishy, gratifying way. I might have spent several moments last night squeezing my knitting, and no, that’s not a euphemism for anything!

All that is left to do for this piece is weave in the ends and then I think I will block it. I know it doesn’t really require blocking, but since the yarn has a bit of a shine to it, it has very high stitch definition. That means that the line and shaping show off well, but it also means that any little errant twist is extra visible. So, I will block it just to smooth everything out and make it all look a little neater.

In other finishing news, the wifey found my copy of The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman! I don’t plan to stop searching out new techniques, but I am glad to have it on hand as a resource.

So, now that one WIP is off the needles, I am thinking more and more about the next project. I still have my Old Shale kids blanket in progress but am waiting for three more skeins of yarn before I can work on it. I have a couple of other random things to wrap up, but nothing that requires actual knitting, just finishing. I have a “knitting date” with a new friend on Thursday so I want to have something up and running by then. Here are some of the options I’m tossing around:

  • A flower washcloth for my daughter using this pattern and a ball of white and green cotton she and the wifey found at Goodwill the other day
  • A twirly skirt for my daughter (sans kittens or hearts) using purple and blue yarn from my stash
  • A Quicksilver for the wifey using some very yummy Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
  • One of these reversible cabled scarf patterns: Gwynedd, Palindrome, Rivulet or this one from Cables Untangled by Melissa Leapman. I’ve made the last one before a couple of times and really love it. I’m a little obsessed with Rivulet, though. I think that one might win. I haven’t selected a yarn to use yet.
  • One of easily a few dozen other patterns I’ve been drooling over lately

Lots to decide! I would like to fast forward through my two twelve hour shifts tomorrow and Wednesday and just commence with the knitting!

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